There are seven grounds for divorce in the State of Texas. The majority of divorces are granted on the grounds of “insupportability”- which, loosely defined, means- we just don't get along anymore and really don't want to live together, please. Some of the other grounds for divorce are used to attempt to gain a larger part of the community estate- basically, a bigger piece of the pie when splitting up all of the assets. Texas allows for fault and no fault divorces. With that said, here are the grounds for divorce we use in Texas:
- Insupportability- This is “no fault” divorce- Texas style. The majority of divorces are granted for insupportability. The Texas Family Code allows parties to divorce without a finding of fault if the “marriage has become insupportable because of discord or conflict of personalities that destroys the legitimate ends of the marriage relationship and prevents any reasonable expectation of reconciliation.” Many times parties choose to use this designation even when other fault grounds exist in their case to try to reduce the tension between the spouses.
- Cruelty- One spouse can have a divorce declared in their favor if the other spouse is guilty of cruel treatment and this cruel treatment makes living together insupportable.
- Adultery- This is a big one. A divorce may be granted in favor of one spouse if the other spouse has committed adultery. Now, you have to PROVE adultery- it can't just be merely a suspicion or gut feeling. It requires some positive proof. But it's amazing how careless people can be when engaging in an adulterous relationship- sometimes it's not all that hard to prove. Watch what you put on your Facebook pages and other social media devices, folks!
- Conviction of a felony- you may get a divorce if your spouse has been convicted of a felony, has been in prison for at least one year in a state penitentiary, federal penitentiary, or penitentiary of another state and has not received a pardon.
- Abandonment- If your spouse intentionally abandons you and stays away for at least one year you have grounds for divorce. This has to be intentional abandonment- being stranded on a deserted island won't qualify!
- Living apart- If you and your spouse have been living apart for at least three years without cohabitation you have grounds for divorce. But if this applies to you, let's hope that after three years you know where to find them to get them served!
- Confinement in mental hospital- You may use this ground if your spouse is confined in a mental hospital at the time the suit for divorce is filed. This applies if your spouse has been confined in a mental hospital and it appears that the spouse is suffering from a mental disorder that is so severe that he/she is not like to adjust and if he/she adjusts it is probable that they will suffer a relapse.
You can find these for yourself in the Texas Family Code: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.6.htm
You can file using more than one ground for divorce- however- you only need to allege one of the grounds to satisfy the requirements in your pleadings. However, in many cases, if you plead one of the grounds other than insupportability, then you might be headed for a trial. Your spouse has the right to defend themselves in court.
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